mosquito lagoon redfish fishing guide, captain tom van horn

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June 18, 2014

Complements of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka, FL

Largemouth Bass

Events and Seminars

Tuesday, June 24th, at 6:30 pm Captain Chris Cameron and other professional anglers will be in the Mosquito Creek Outback demonstrating the latest near shore fishing techniques and answering any of your saltwater fishing questions.

This Week's Fishing Report

First, let me wish all of you dads a belated happy Father's Day.

As we approach the summer solstice in the tropic of cancer, long hot days set the stage for some of the hottest fishing experienced along Florida's Indian River Lagoon Coast all year. Long hot days also signal a shift in strategy to fishing early in the morning and late in the evening and at night to beat the heat and our typical afternoon thunderstorms. The summer solstice arrives each year on June 21st, marking the point of the sun's northern most reach, and the longest day and the shortest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. The solstice typically marks the beginning of the summer doldrums resulting in calm sea conditions allowing those of us with shallow water boats to venture seaward in search of near-shore kingfish, dolphin, tarpon, and large jack crevalle. Also, it's the time of year when the silver kings (tarpon) and smoker kings (large kingfish) invade the Port Canaveral buoy line and beaches. These favorable sea conditions will only last as long as the tropical summer squalls allow, and Labrador currents stay well offshore. Also, summer is the best time to fish at night where some species (sea trout and snook) prefer to feed, as they have a shorter window of opportunity increasing their aggressiveness.

Channel Catfish

Captain Tom's Channel Catfish, photo bt Captain Ron Presley

Although I did not get offshore this week, I did do some freshwater fishing on the St Johns River with my good friend Captain Ron Presley where we found the largemouth bass chewing on top-water plugs and DOA CAL jerk baits at first light. Our afternoon thunder storm have kicked in, so with rising water levels on the river we opted to soak a few catfish baits after the bass bite slowed down catching a few respectable channel catfish in the deeper bends of the river. We also spent some time running the shallows of Lake Harney looking for brim beds, but we found no solid concentrations of beds.

As I look forward into next week, my adventures carry me into the Banana River No-Motor Zone tomorrow with renowned fly angler Marshal Roper in search of redfish, and then to the DOA Writer's Conference at River Palms Cottages in Jensen Beach on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, so stay tuned for next week's report.

Visit www.mosquitocreekoutdoors.com for your outdoor adventure needs, its Where the Adventure Begins!

Fishing Forecast

July, 2014

Complements of Mosquito Creek Outdoors, Apopka, FL

Let me start July's fishing forecast by wishing everyone a happy and safe July 4th week. As we celibate our country's independence with family and friends, let's not forget that our freedom wasn't free. Throughout the history of our great country, many have and will continue to defend the freedoms we enjoy, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers this week.

snook

Captain Gus Brugger's 36-inch snook caught on the new 4-inch DOA Shad Tail.

This past week I had the expreme pleasure to attend the DOA Lures Writers Conference at the exclusive River Palm Cottages in Jensen Beach where the new 4-inch CAL Shad Tail was introduced. As always this conference is more fun than this story teller can discribe, and it was great to see all of my old friends at such a enjoyable occation.

July's Fishing Outlook

Summertime has officially arrived on the Space Coast of Florida, and the mid summer doldrums are currently amongst us. The sea are as flat as a they get and glassy conditions allow you to cover more water aiding in locating fish. It's also the time of year when tropical weather systems and offshore water temperatures are as predictable as Wall Street. Just when you think you've got the fishing figured out, a summer squall (tropical system) will blow in and kick up the seas, or the cold water Labrador Current will chill bottom water temperatures and shut down the seaward bite. Setting all these possibilities aside, many opportunities for angling adventures exist for us both inside and outside on the lagoon coast in July.

Near-shore, kingfish will be the staple on the reefs and wrecks in 70 to 90 feet of water, with a mixed bag of three, wahoo, dolphin, and an occasional sailfish, thrown in. My preferred method for targeting these species is slow trolling live bait (pogies) on steel stinger rigs in the areas of the Chris Benson, 8A and Pelican Flats reefs.

On the Port Canaveral buoy line and along the beaches when the water is clean, and an assorted beach bag is available with smoker kings (large king mackerel), silver kings (tarpon), sharks, and colossal jacks (school buses) all available at any given time. To target these species, focus your attention in areas of bait concentrations. This past week, pods of large tarpon and sharks were located between Patrick AFB and Satellite Beach and the bight off of the Kennedy Space Center.

In the Port and inlets, Spanish mackerel, summer flounder and mangrove snapper number should remain steady. To target the flounder and snapper, try using a 3 inch DOA CAL Shad Tail bounced off the bottom in the areas of structure and along sandy drop-offs. For flounder or snapper try casting the jig as close to the structure as possible without getting snagged, and let it sink to the bottom. Once it's reached the bottom, slowly drag it back letting it rest every foot or so. When jigging for Spanish mackerel or other toothy critters, use the same jigs, but retrieve it quickly to avoid getting cut off by not allowing the fish to strike the line.

Inshore, July is one of the best times of the year to catch redfish in shallow water. Schools have already started forming up, and the sight of a feeding school of redfish is incredible. Once you've finished drooling over redfish, look for snook, and top water snapper along mangrove edges, and juvenile tarpon in the creeks, canals and backwaters. In deeper water, look for ladyfish and small trout shadowing schools of bay anchovies (glass minnows) under clouds of feeding terns. These feeding frenzies are great fun, especially when fly fishing using a top water popping bug. Additionally, Calm conditions are ideal for paddlers wishing to venture back into the No-Motor Zone, where tailing redfish make great targets for both fly and spin anglers.

Remember, as the water levels increase, dissolved oxygen levels decrease, so it is important to step up your tackle and line size to facilitate a shorter battle, and to revive your catch completely before release.

Captain Tom Van Horn